Here are top 5 tips for pet care during summers by a veterinarian in Charlottesville

For people residing in cold climates, summers are quite joyful. There is plenty of sunshine which is a welcome break from the gloomy clouds and chilled atmosphere. Summers are a great time to enjoy with your pet. However, they come up with their own sets of challenges and if you are not mindful, they can impact the health of your pet. Outside exposure can cause injuries, infections, heatstroke, and multiple other disorders.

Being a pet owner, it is imperative to know how to take care of your pets during summers. Let us take a look at some important pet care tips to keep your pet safe and healthy during summers.

Don’t Let Them Dehydrate

  • The heat can take a toll on animals if they are not provided with proper shade and a constant supply of freshwater to satiate their thirst. Dogs can especially get very thirsty during summers. They will drool excessively and have dry gums when they are thirsty. To avoid dehydration, make sure that your pet is properly shaded outdoors and has access to clean and fresh water all the time.

Dogs and cats enjoy bathing and strolling in the sunlight but excess exposure during the hottest months can lead to a heat stroke. When going on long walks with your dog, take a water bottle for your pet as well. Oh, and don’t forget to switch to wet dog food during summers. This will help retain fluid.

Watch Out for Signs of Overheating

Dogs and cats can get overheated quickly. For dogs, the average body temperature lies between 100° and 103°F whereas for cats it’s 100.4º to 102.5ºF. If your pet’s temperature goes beyond this then they are overheated and need to be cooled down immediately. Look out for the following telltale signs of overheating in pets:

  • Drinking water frequently and heavy panting to cool their temperature.
  • Dry and red gums
  • Excessive drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Shaky legs

If your pet shows these signs of heat exhaustion then do the following:

  • Move the pet to a cool place
  • Give them water to drink
  • Cover their bodies with a damp towel
  • Take them to a vet immediately. Autumn Trails and Veterinary Center provides urgent care for emergency situations like these.

Do not place your pet in cold water even when they are displaying signs of overheating. Doing so can put them into a state of shock.

pet care during summersLather Them With Sunscreen

  • Animals’ skins are not very different from human skins. Animals with light and short hair coats are especially prone to getting sunburns. Sunburns are not only painful, they can even lead to cancer. The best way to prevent sunburns is to apply sunscreen over the exposed skin which has the lowest hair density after every 3-4 hours. Bellies, ears, and nose need maximum application of sunscreen when your dog is outdoors and exposed to the sun.

Make sure to use sunscreen that is specifically made for pets.

Keep the Paws Cool

  • Pets absorb maximum heat from the ground underneath and heat their way up. To avoid overheating, it is important to keep their paws cool. Whenever you take your pet outdoors, avoid exposing them to surfaces that are made of cement and asphalt as they can heat up very quickly. During summers, avoid placing your dog in the back of a truck because their paws might get burnt from being exposed to hot metal.

Put on doggy boots to protect your dog’s paws from excessive heat when taking them out during the day.

Autumn Trails and Veterinary Center provides veterinary services in Charlottesville, VA.